Welcome to Waringstown

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About Waringstown


Waringstown Historic Photos


Waringstown owes its existence, name and unique contribution to the development of the Irish linen industry to William Waring, who built Waringstown House, around which the village developed. Waringstown is also famous for its cricket club, which is based at what is believed to be the second oldest ground in Northern Ireland.

Founding of Waringstown

For centuries the land on which Waringstown stands belonged to the Magenis clan, Lords of Iveagh, who controlled much of County Down. After their participation in the burning of Lisburn during the insurrection of 1641, they were deemed to have forfeited their land, which, following Oliver Cromwell's campaign in Ireland several years later, was later distributed among his troops. The son of a wealthy Lancastrian tanner, William Waring bought the western part of the parish of Donaghcloney from a Cromwellian commander, Captain Barrett, in 1658.

Origins of the Irish linen industry

Waring, who was anxious to introduce a prosperous industry that would employ local people, was among the first in Ireland to see the potential of linen. While the Irish wool industry, seen as a rival by the English, was almost taxed out of existence, the Irish linen industry was granted tariff protection and actively encouraged. Waring's vision was continued by his son Samuel, who was greatly impressed by the linen finishing techniques he saw on his travels in Holland and Belgium. On his return in 1688 these techniques were introduced to the weavers of Waringstown and the village soon acquired a reputation for the highest quality cambric and damask cloths.


Over the years, the Warings, who established one of the earliest bleaching greens in Ireland, introduced a number of innovations to the Irish linen industry. Samuel, who co-founded the Irish Linen Board in 1710, supported measures which supported improved the quality of the linen and encouraged local weavers with free equipment.

Waringstown House

Waringstown House

The oldest unfortified mansion house in Ireland, and hugely significant architecturally, Waringstown House was built in the Jacobean style by William Waring in 1667 and has been occupied by his descendants ever since. Mud built over rubble masonry with two projecting towers to defend the front door, the building was constructed to withstand attack from enemies. Among the mansion's most notable guests was the Duke of Schomberg, William 111's most trusted general, who was sent to Ireland to confront the troops of James 11 in 1689. He stayed here, in a tapestried, oak-panelled room since known as 'the Duke's Room', en route to Dundalk to confront Jacobite forces. Today, the house and gardens, with their collection of rare trees, is occupied by the Harnett family, descendants of William Waring.

Further information on Waringstown House is available at the Craigavon Historical Society website.


Fit for a king

One of the world's most celebrated linen damask tablecloths was made in Waringstown. Commemorating the coronation of George 11 in 1727, it was woven in one piece despite its remarkable size, 11 feet by 9 feet, and designed with illustrations of the coronation procession, the royal arms and a map of London. It reveals the remarkable skill of the Waringstown weavers, considered among the elite of the global linen industry. The Waringstown cloth, an astonishing tribute to the craftsmanship of the weavers can be viewed at the Irish Linen Centre, Lisburn.

Margaret Waring

Much of the southern part of Waringstown was rebuilt by Mrs Margaret Waring in 1932. The widow of Holt Waring, who was killed in the First World War, she used her private wealth to greatly enhance the village. Among her many donations was the original site of Waringstown Primary School (which moved in 1990). The school has won countless awards in the fields of sport and music, including Ulster Television's School Choir of the Year in 1998 and BBC Songs of Praise School Choir Of The Year 2004.

The Church of the Holy Trinity Waringstown

Church of the Holy Trinity

William Waring built this beautiful Jacobean-style church in 1681. The church, including the large north transept, was extended and improved in the 19th century but much of the original building remains, such as the magnificent original timbered roof, constructed from local oak, the Jacobean oak altar rail and the oak pulpit. The village's remarkable linen heritage and the central role of the Waring family are portrayed in the magnificent stained glass windows. At the entrance to the chancel hangs the ancient flag of the Waringstown Volunteers, part of nationwide militia formed to protect Ireland against French invasion in 1778. Its tower was built in the 1740s and its bell installed in 1750. William Waring and several of his successors are buried in the east end of the church. There are many interesting eighteenth century stones in the graveyard, the oldest dating from 1709.

Further information on the Holy Trinity Church is available at the Craigavon Historical Society website.


Waringstown Cricket Club

Cricket Club With so many of its original settlers being English, cricket was the local game of choice. The club, known as the 'home of Ulster cricket', was formed in 1851 by Thomas Waring (adjacent Waringstown House is on the club's badge) and the Henning Brothers. Its grounds, the Lawns, with its famous slant, were donated by Thomas Waring and are thought to be the second oldest in Ulster. Many famous cricketers have graced the Lawns, including Rohan Kanhai and the Yorkshire and England stars Hedley Verity and Norman Yardley, who were stationed locally during the Second World War. An integral part of village life, the club, which plays in the NCU Premier League and has contributed many players to the Irish cricket team over the years, welcomes visitors to games on summer weekends.


The Grange

The Grange Also Known as a Planter's House, a type once common in this locality, the Grange is one of the oldest houses in Northern Ireland, possibly even older than Waringstown itself, with the ground floor thought to be as early as 1659. Originally thatched, the house is constructed of fieldstone. Having been a distinguished restaurant for many years, the building has returned to a private dwelling. A date stone, now lost, recorded the adjacent building having been erected in 1698.


Josie Kerr

Josie Kerr A plaque near the Grange commemorates the life of Josie Kerr OBE, the co-founder of the Northern Ireland Kidney Research Fund. An annual cavalcade, started in 1972, of vintage and classic vehicles, still raises funds for one of Northern Ireland's most successful charities.


Waringstown Presbyterian Church

Waringstown Presbyterian Church

Completed in 1853 at Mill Hill, the church was built to accommodate the growing numbers of Presbyterian families in the Waringstown area. The first Waringstown congregation used to meet in Murray House on the Banbridge Road before moving to a nearby mill loft where up to 200 people could be accommodated.

The building, designed by the noted Architect of his generation, Sir Charles Lanyon is also reputed to have designed buildings such as Queen's University and the Crumlin Road Courthouse, both in Belfast.


Planters House

Planters House One of the oldest buildings in the area, this thatched roof cottage can be found on at the junction of the Mill Hill and Dromore Road, approximately one mile from the village. It The building is thought to date from pre-1700 and is believed to be the best remaining example of it's type, constructed of fieldstone and mud. The walls are whitwashed with a thatched roof.


Planters Tavern

Planters At the centre of the village, this building, which dates from around 1700, was once a coaching house. Now restored it continues its coaching tradition as a pub offering food and accommodation.


War Memorial

Many men from Waringstown district served in both World Wars. Mrs Waring, a war widower, called a public meeting in April 1919 to discuss a suitable memorial for the village. The idea of a tower and clock was suggested as a fitting daily remembrance each time the clock struck.

Woodview Cottage

On the edge of Waringstown on the Clare Road, sits one of the most attractive houses, Woodview Cottage. Sitting amongst mature trees, the long white cottage with its pyracantha shrub, is a welcome reminder of the style of buildings once common throughout the village.

Diaper Hill House

Diaper Hill House This very old dwelling located on the left side of Clare Road as you leave the village, was extensively renovated in the latter 1800's. Having been in the ownership of the famous Dunleath family for many generations, the building has sadly fell into disrepair. The first piece of diaper (where a particular design is repeated throughout the cloth) in Ireland is said to have been produced here. Names associated with the linen trade, like Diaper Hill and Cambrai, can be found throughout the local area. 


By 1886 between 300 and 400 handloom weavers lived in the village and it wasn't until 1968 that the last firm, John McCollum, closed.

Waringstown also boasted a brewery and linen and clothing factories in the 19th century.

Dunleath Cottages

Kingshill, a rural hamlet on the Clare Road is home to Dunleath Cottages on the left side leaving Waringstown. Thought to have been re-Built by the Dunleath family pre 1900, these five dwellings, described as English style, replaced earlier mud walled cottages on the same site. Each cottage has its own 'shop' in the lower end, the shop being a room assigned solely for a handloom.

Kingshill also had a starch mill which doubled as a soup kitchen during the Great Famine.